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Scientists create regenerative cells from mouse cells

9 August 2010
Appeared in BioNews 570
Regrowing human tissue is one step closer after scientists found manipulating two key proteins in mouse muscle cells enabled them to continue multiplying. Blocking two proteins - ARF, responsible for restricting cell growth, and RB1, which suppresses cancer - caused the muscle cells to start dividing. Normally, mammal muscle cells don't divide.

But the scientists warned more research was needed before the technique could be used to regenerate tissue to treat conditions like heart damage and muscle-wasting diseases. The proteins could only be deactivated temporarily because otherwise they over-proliferated. RB1 helps stop cancerous tumours developing.

'Newts regenerate tissues very effectively', said Professor Helen Blau from Stanford University, California, who led the research. Scientists have long been interested in how newts and salamanders regrow their body parts. 'In contrast, mammals are pathetic. We can regenerate our livers, and that's about it. Until now it's been a mystery as to how they do it', she said.

Cell success on mice holds out hope for regenerative medicine
The Times |  5 August 2010
Transient Inactivation of Rb and ARF Yields Regenerative Cells from Postmitotic Mammalian Muscle
Cell Stem Cell |  6 August 2010
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